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not suit senator lindsey graham of south carolina. >> i strongly disagree with the obama administration's decision to rule out enemy combatant status for this suspect at this time. i believe such a decision is premature. >> joining us now is ari melber, my colleague and co-host of "the cycle," also a lawyer. ari, at least twice mr. graham said the administration's decision to reject enemy combatant status was, quoting him, premature. do you agree with that? >> i don't. it's weird for senator graham to say it. what is premature is try to assert there would be a direct or substantial link between the suspect and al qaeda. that is the legal requirement to take an american away from the civilian courts and treat them as an enemy combatant. i believe senator graham who has a long history on detention issues and was a lawyer, himself, i think he knows that. because he knows that, he knows he is premature to suggest this when no reliable source and nobody in the government -- >> certainly not yet. >> -- has met that standard. >> let's listen to what senator graham said was his reason for using
harm or potentially harm the federal case. >> the white house decision sets a pattern, since march 2009 the obama administration changed the way the war is prosecuted. ordering the pentagon who stop using the term global war on terror. instead calling it an overseas contingency operation. the president's current cia director raised eyebrows when he declared jihad is not necessary lay bad thing. >> as americans, we refuse to live in feemplet nor do we describe our enemy as jihadists or islamists because jihad is a holy struggle a legitimate tenet of islam. >> our president says we have a war on al qaeda not a war on terror. >> that's ridiculous. this is ideologically based war which ideology that unfortunately emerges from a religion. >> critics say it comes down to semantics whether the administration considers this a war, involving enemy combatants or a law enforcement challenge. bret? >> bret: jennifer griffin live at the pentagon. thank you. much more on all of this with the panel tonight, an expanded panel. president obama will attend a memorial service thursday for the victims of t
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